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Thread: I know there is no such thing as 'free energy' but what if it was possible?

  1. #1 I know there is no such thing as 'free energy' but what if it was possible? 
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    I know this is a science forum and not a forum for conspiracy theorists but I have always been intrigued by the idea of a world where everyone has access to 'free' energy. What impact would it have on the world? Would it solve 99 per cent of all problems?


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    I think if there was such a thing as free energy somebody would figure out a way to make you pay more than it was worth.


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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    I think if there was such a thing as free energy somebody would figure out a way to make you pay more than it was worth.
    But forget about all that for one second. Just imagine if all 6 billion people on this planet had access to free energy. Wouldn't the world be a much better place? I know it could get into the wrong hands and be weaponized somehow but overall the world would be better for it.
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    The question, as it stands, is far too open: to the point of being nebulous.

    Just imagine if all 6 billion people on this planet had access to free energy.
    How?
    Can the average guy use that power for his car, his house, cooking?
    Sure, let everyone have the diagrams to access this energy: how are they going to "plug it in" to their current systems?
    Is it electrical or something else?
    If it's electrical then sure, you can use it for most household applications.
    How are you going to power your car?
    Aircraft?
    What about those who cook by gas?
    (How many deaths can we expect as a result of things like switching power source from the mains to the new system or (as I certainly expect to happen should this ever occur) some moron thinking "if one cable/ input source is good three must be better" [or similar]?)

    And like Dan said: someone, somewhere will find a way to make you pay...
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  6. #5  
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    People would just waste it if it was free.

    Actually if people had unlimited free energy they most likely would proceed to make the world uninhabitable at even a faster rate than they do now.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Money, economic value, etc are all proxies for energy. The superior quality of material well being enjoyed by many countries today is directly related to energy expenditure. In that case, free energy would cause an explosion of wealth and material well being.
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  8. #7  
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    There is such a thing as free energy. It is called "Sunlight". Unfortunately it is only available at certain hours of the day, and you need PV cells in order to convert it into a useable form to run household appliances.

    We also have food replicators that can power directly off of this power source. They're called "vegetation" or "plants". However they're not very user friendly. They have to be placed in dirt that has certain properties, and then dug up after a few months. It's a bit labor intensive.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    You guys think too small. You think of free energy as if it is electricity, or gas alternative. you see the word free and think only of money and not how it applies to energy. think of free energy, not free being monetary value, but free energy. an energy that is free. Infinite energy can be free energy, no limits, unbounded yet containable. free energy must still be owned or controlled, or the energy would be truly free. you need a balance, total containment, complete expansion in every direction or outcome simultaneously as well as free space, empty field. I am afraid the ideas i have read here about energy and free are very shallow, especially when you consider the potential of free energy. there would be no problems. can you imagine total freedom, free motion of reality, free choice of infinity.. if reality were a dream and anything you could imagine was free for you to have or experience what would you do... infinity
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    do you know what creates free choice.. it is because there is both at once and together everything, and nothing. there is no resistance to any choice you can make. an alpha and an omega, together in the same moment. a balance of + and -. everything is and everything is not. this is where you may place anything to be. in the dark, rich, black empty field where your garden is sure to grow. a state of nothingness.
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    do you know when you are free.. when you are dead. do you know how to free the barrier of your light speed.. with negative energy..
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    If there was such a thing as free energy, somebody would find a way to make it into a bomb.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    A free bomb is better than no bomb!
    Wait!... Umm... A free bong is better than any bomb! Yes! That's it!
    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    If there was such a thing as free energy, somebody would find a way to make it into a bomb.
    Free energy is a bomb, but not how you would think. Think of an artist who has painted a picture of the earth on it, now think newclear, as he decides to paint another from the same essence.

    but of course FREE energy painter can just paint many pictures. or change or erase the ones he made already. just leave freely one painting to another. wouldn`t need to bomb it or 0bomba it.

    the point is you can paint anything.. we are painting now.. why not paint yourself free...
    Last edited by emilito; October 8th, 2014 at 06:17 AM.
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    Think that when used, part of energy is always wasted released to the environment, think in global warming, then, with free energy only global burning could come. Earth will burn!
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    Is this one of those things that muggles aren't allowed to know about?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GadgetMan987 View Post
    I know this is a science forum and not a forum for conspiracy theorists but I have always been intrigued by the idea of a world where everyone has access to 'free' energy. What impact would it have on the world? Would it solve 99 per cent of all problems?
    The Earth would start cooking from all the waste heat. Every joule of energy you use ends up as heat (with very few exceptions) - and all that heat has to go somewhere.

    Put it this way. Let's say every person on Earth started using 100,000 watts of power on average for . . . whatever. Their own personal hoverhouse, mammoth SUV, cool fountain, indoor skating rink, air conditioning for the Las Vegas dome, yard heaters etc. (Pool party in January!) Or to think more positively, soil heaters in Canada so you can grow food for most of the year, water pumps and desalinators to make the Sahara green again, maglev launchers to deliver goods anywhere on the planet within 45 minutes. You would get the same warming as we are getting right now from all the anthropogenic forcings. And since those would take a while to go away, for a while you'd have TWICE the heating that we have now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by GadgetMan987 View Post
    I know this is a science forum and not a forum for conspiracy theorists but I have always been intrigued by the idea of a world where everyone has access to 'free' energy. What impact would it have on the world? Would it solve 99 per cent of all problems?
    The Earth would start cooking from all the waste heat. Every joule of energy you use ends up as heat (with very few exceptions) - and all that heat has to go somewhere.

    Put it this way. Let's say every person on Earth started using 100,000 watts of power on average for . . . whatever. Their own personal hoverhouse, mammoth SUV, cool fountain, indoor skating rink, air conditioning for the Las Vegas dome, yard heaters etc. (Pool party in January!) Or to think more positively, soil heaters in Canada so you can grow food for most of the year, water pumps and desalinators to make the Sahara green again, maglev launchers to deliver goods anywhere on the planet within 45 minutes. You would get the same warming as we are getting right now from all the anthropogenic forcings. And since those would take a while to go away, for a while you'd have TWICE the heating that we have now.
    Thermocouples? Giant atmospheric AC's? Shipping heat into space?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    Thermocouples? Giant atmospheric AC's? Shipping heat into space?
    To do any of that you have to have some place to put the heat. And aside from a giant space elevator with a Moon-sized radiator on the top, you're going have a lot of trouble getting rid of that heat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    maglev launchers to deliver goods anywhere on the planet within 45 minutes.
    I am in strong favor of this. Even at the cost of Earth. I hate waiting for my amazon shipments to arrive

    Besides, this cool cat could totally get rid of the excess heat for ya. He doesn't mind, he is awesome like that

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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    Thermocouples? Giant atmospheric AC's? Shipping heat into space?
    Unfortunately, "shipping heat into space" won't work (at least, not without bad things happening). There are three processes that get rid of heat: Conduction, convection and radiation. The first two involve matter, which space lacks. So, all we have is radiation. And that is negligible until you get to very high temperatures. So, yes, we could radiate it away, but we would have to get very, very hot first.

    But your question raises another one: The OP's question presumes a suspension of one law of nature. It is unclear that no other laws break in consequence. Infinities are tricky things...

    [I am making the assumption that "free energy" is operationally equivalent to "infinite energy", which of course need not be true]
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk421 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    Thermocouples? Giant atmospheric AC's? Shipping heat into space?
    Unfortunately, "shipping heat into space" won't work (at least, not without bad things happening). There are three processes that get rid of heat: Conduction, convection and radiation. The first two involve matter, which space lacks. So, all we have is radiation. And that is negligible until you get to very high temperatures. So, yes, we could radiate it away, but we would have to get very, very hot first.

    But your question raises another one: The OP's question presumes a suspension of one law of nature. It is unclear that no other laws break in consequence. Infinities are tricky things...

    [I am making the assumption that "free energy" is operationally equivalent to "infinite energy", which of course need not be true]
    I'm good on the whole "blow'n off symmetry" thing. (Although we are in pseudo...)
    Infinities are interesting in a Cantorian sorta way. I have a whole book about the continuum problem.
    No, I'm quite happy with conservation, and improvements with solar and other renewables generation, and efficiency of devices in transforming energy into work. No need for post scarcity novel characters farting masses of entropy right out their rears.

    But, thermocouples are kinda interesting, turn some of that entropy back into work; The PowerPot Review | Section Hikers Backpacking Blog
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk421 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    Thermocouples? Giant atmospheric AC's? Shipping heat into space?
    Unfortunately, "shipping heat into space" won't work (at least, not without bad things happening). There are three processes that get rid of heat: Conduction, convection and radiation. The first two involve matter, which space lacks. So, all we have is radiation. And that is negligible until you get to very high temperatures. So, yes, we could radiate it away, but we would have to get very, very hot first.

    But your question raises another one: The OP's question presumes a suspension of one law of nature. It is unclear that no other laws break in consequence. Infinities are tricky things...

    [I am making the assumption that "free energy" is operationally equivalent to "infinite energy", which of course need not be true]
    I suppose that, if energy really were free, we could expend some of it on building and operating a kind of giant, radiative, heat pump, with the radiator in space - a hotplate, if you like - to get rid of the waste heat.

    But, back to the original question, even if an energy source were to be free, that does not make it free at the point of use by an individual enterprise or householder. A significant part of the cost of energy is in its transmission and distribution.
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    I hope i would be wrong, but i think it won't be as pretty as we might expect :

    The have-nots would become haves, so relatively the haves would become equal to them,
    and they won't let that happen...

    Just imagine that you could produce all energy at home yourself, for free.
    Energy owning companies would go bankrupt.
    But you could also grow your own food without energy costs, so multinationals in the food industrie would suffer greatly.
    You wouldn't be forced to go to work in a company, companies wouldn't be able anymore to use you to make more money.
    Many hiŽrarchies would crumble, but they wouldn't let that happen, my guess.


    On the bright side (slightly naÔve though) , if things were able to evolve to a new kind of balance,
    then personal qualities, talents , characteristics would become much more relevant.
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    We already have unlimited energy. For example, the sun is not going to run out anytime soon. And neither are winds, currents, and probably even oil (which has been supposedly "running out" for like a century now).
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    Quote Originally Posted by GadgetMan987 View Post
    Just imagine if all 6 billion people on this planet had access to free energy. Wouldn't the world be a much better place?
    The waste heat would cook us all. Imagine if everyone on the planet was dissipating an extra megawatt for their ultra-high-powered boats, cars, planes and houses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GadgetMan987 View Post
    I know this is a science forum and not a forum for conspiracy theorists but I have always been intrigued by the idea of a world where everyone has access to 'free' energy. What impact would it have on the world? Would it solve 99 per cent of all problems?
    So do you pay for sunlight?

    Here in Arizona we get a huge number of sunny days and that's a lot of energy - it's free...
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    But the cost of making, transporting, buying, and installing solar panels/networks is not.   And the energy cost for converting from solar rays to electricity is also not free.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    But the cost of making, transporting, buying, and installing solar panels/networks is not.   And the energy cost for converting from solar rays to electricity is also not free.
    True but the raw energy itself is free is it not?
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Holmes View Post
    True but the raw energy itself is free is it not?
    If the total amount of energy required to collect it is more than the total energy obtained from it, then it is useless, whether the raw energy is free or not.
    There are no paradoxes in relativity, just people's misunderstandings of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Holmes View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    But the cost of making, transporting, buying, and installing solar panels/networks is not.   And the energy cost for converting from solar rays to electricity is also not free.
    True but the raw energy itself is free is it not?
    As KJW notes, its not free in respect to this discussion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Holmes View Post
    True but the raw energy itself is free is it not?
    That's like saying that gasoline is free, you just have to pay for it.
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  33. #32  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Holmes View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    But the cost of making, transporting, buying, and installing solar panels/networks is not.   And the energy cost for converting from solar rays to electricity is also not free.
    True but the raw energy itself is free is it not?
    So is the water for a hydroelectric dam:it's just rain, after all. But that doesn't result in free energy either.

    If one simply describes the raw resource as "free", it does not actually mean anything useful. It is never going to be free at the point of use. And you cannot deduce that it will be cheaper at the point of use than a form of energy which is not "free" in its raw form.
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